The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has teamed up with civil society organisations to improve Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ product registration processes at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
The LCCI, Convention on Business Integrity and Centre for International Private Enterprise, had conducted a study on ease of services rendered to them by NAFDAC, whose report was unveiled during a virtual forum on Thursday.
The report said most MSMEs make payments without receipts to intermediaries to fast-track processes in NAFDAC.
It also stated that MSMEs interface with intermediaries who are mostly NAFDAC workers to facilitate laboratory analysis and product registration.
While presenting the findings of the study, the Chief Executive Officer, CBI, Olusoji Apampa, said the research was conducted in order to facilitate the ease of doing business in Nigeria through the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment.
He said the decision to focus on NAFDAC was based on responses received from SMEs when asked which government agency was more important to their businesses.
According to him, 501 SMEs were interviewed in Aba, Lagos and Kano states.
The report is titled ‘Transactional accountability, process consistency and operational transparency – A report on NAFDAC’.
Responding to the findings of the study, the Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said it was not clear from the report if the intermediaries identified were external consultants or desk officers assigned to certain services.
She argued that businesses owners that made informal payments were complicit, saying there was no justification for making such payments if their documents were in order.
According to her, the importance of business regulation cannot be overemphasised especially for the MSMEs business category.
The Country Director, CIPE, Mrs Omowunmi Gbadamosi, noted that the small businesses faced different challenges which needed to be solved.